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Old 04-09-2013, 06:26 PM   #1
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Lets see your classic tow vehicles

I will be towing most of the time with my F150 but am planning on making a couple of trips in my 76 Wagoneer. Who else tows with a classic? Show off your classic ride. Here's ours.

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Old 04-09-2013, 06:46 PM   #2
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Still in the works.........
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
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1958 Chevy short wide bed

I am working on it right now but its slow gong. I have the body mounted on a shortened 1985 C10 frame and have a 2002 6 .0 engine and auto overdrive trans here to put in it. The second pic is a idea of what it will look like when finished.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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Still in the works.........
There is no way that sweet ride is originally from Washtenaw county..

Sprouty, Great looking truck, what made you choose the 6.0??
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:13 PM   #5
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1964 17' Bambi II
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I tow my 1961 13' Scotty camper with a 1961 Corvair Rampside pickup truck and a 1962 Corvair Greenbrier van (my very first car).

I COULD tow the Bambi II when it is finished with these trucks, but I think I would be so severely underpowered it would not even be funny. So I am always on the lookout for a 1967-1970 flat-front GMC or Chevy van with a 108" wheelbase and a V8/automatic transmission...the search continues!
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:29 PM   #6
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No the woodie came from Chicago area, several years ago. So you live on Evans...we have several friends on Evans lake. Raised our kids in the Irish Hill on Sharon Hollow. Funny thing we drove a 76 Cherokee when we lived there, and of course we have friends in Brooklyn and Manchester. Brother in law is on Vineyard.... Small world . Congrats on your Sport... I bet I was in it before you were<G> Wife and I make routine visits to Belleville and always check on the 'Streams there!!
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:37 AM   #7
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Sprouty, Great looking truck, what made you choose the 6.0??
I wanted to have a modern drivetrain with EFI & auto overdrive and this engine came up for sale with some extra parts so I picked it up. I have talked to some others since then that have done the "LS" conversion and I have been told a 5.3 may have been a better choice because of the gas mileage but I like the extra power so I am sticking with the 6.0. It has 300 horsepower and 360 Ft lbs of toque stock. You can pick up a tuner for it and fine tune the engine and trans for your needs. I have spent some time with Pro-Touring cars and the LS engines are great platforms.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:50 AM   #8
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1954 22' Safari
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We loved the 1970 Wagoneer we had back in 2009. (1st photo) With its big Buick V8, it pulled our '62 Globe Trotter beautifully.

I later backdated the Wag's front end with an early 60's "Rhino chaser" grill and headlight setup: both because I liked the earlier look - and because it was a closer chronological match to the trailer. (2nd photo)

Period correct and charming around town... we nevertheless suffered a major breakdown 7 hours into our first cross-country trip. It caused us to seriously rethink the reliability of vintage tow vehicles, especially when paired with low mechanical know-how.

~~

Wagoneer and Airstream were eventually sold, and we bought a bigger Airstream. After enjoying towing with a Highlander Hybrid for the last few years, we got the vintage itch again last summer, and began figuring out how to get the best of both worlds.

Lastly, you'll see the "before" mockup of the current pairing: '54 Safari and a 1953 Chrysler Town & Country wagon. We're ditching the tired flathead 6 and rusted out frame, mating the body to a complete donor 2005, 5.7 Hemi Durango. From EFI, to ECM, to AWD and ABS... we'll have an entirely modern SUV, wearing a 60 year old "suit". (last photos)
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bredlo View Post
We loved the 1970 Wagoneer we had back in 2009. (1st photo) With its big Buick V8, it pulled our '62 Globe Trotter beautifully.

I later backdated the Wag's front end with an early 60's "Rhino chaser" grill and headlight setup: both because I liked the earlier look - and because it was a closer chronological match to the trailer. (2nd photo)

Period correct and charming around town... we nevertheless suffered a major breakdown 7 hours into our first cross-country trip. It caused us to seriously rethink the reliability of vintage tow vehicles, especially when paired with low mechanical know-how.

~~

Wagoneer and Airstream were eventually sold, and we bought a bigger Airstream. After enjoying towing with a Highlander Hybrid for the last few years, we got the vintage itch again last summer, and began figuring out how to get the best of both worlds.

Lastly, you'll see the "before" mockup of the current pairing: '54 Safari and a 1953 Chrysler Town & Country wagon. We're ditching the tired flathead 6 and rusted out frame, mating the body to a complete donor 2005, 5.7 Hemi Durango. From EFI, to ECM, to AWD and ABS... we'll have an entirely modern SUV, wearing a 60 year old "suit". (last photos)
That will be a great set up. Are you doing the swap yourself or going to hire it done?
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:34 AM   #10
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That will be a great set up. Are you doing the swap yourself or going to hire it done?
Thanks!

I hired an older mechanic to strip the Dodge down. He asked only for the wheels for his own project. You can see how I got it for a few thousand bucks: rolled on its roof at low speed, leaving everything I need in perfect shape. The Hemi has less than 70K miles, and often sells by itself for what I paid for the whole vehicle. The best part is that we shouldn't need any custom parts, which will be great if we get into trouble far from home.

The swap will require 1. lengthening the Durango frame a few inches and 2. intimate knowledge of the wiring harness / computer to eliminate dozens of redundant sensors. Of course, that's before you even begin the actual swap. The wagon's interior will remain as intact as possible, with gauges and lights rewired for 12v. Backup cameras and other new features will ideally be housed behind similar period speaker grilles, using old knobs.

It's a youthful, energetic shop nearby that normally specializes in hot rods. They understand I'm after distance and reliability, vs. loud mufflers and bored out cylinders.

They're chomping at the bit to get started... and I'm frantically scraping together the cash. Hopefully by fall we'll be done, and we're aiming for around $25K out the door, including purchase price of both vehicles.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:18 AM   #11
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Sounds like a good plan. I have restored a few cars over the years and just a word of warning do not belive the estimates for labor on a custom job. In my experiance they are all most always 30-50% off so budget some extra money for the project.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:44 AM   #12
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just a word of warning do not belive the estimates for labor on a custom job...
I believe you. Wholeheartedly.

I'm hoping to break the work into at least two sections, so that if we get to the end of the first stage (say, maybe the body on the rolling frame, nothing else) I can put it back into the storage unit and reassess the situation, if need be.

Meanwhile, my conversations with the shop cover anticipating the worst surprises, in hopes we'll find it to be fairly straightforward.

Given the unsafe, lace-like structure of the original frame - and the fact I plan on finding a new home for the perfectly serviceable flathead - I have a fairly clear conscience that I'm not destroying the value of the wagon... even if the project languishes on. In other words, the pace may be dictated by finances, but I'm willing to go slow so as to not cut corners.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:15 PM   #13
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Lets see your classic tow vehicles

My 1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible was purchased about two years prior to the Airstream so it wasn't purchased with the intent of towing. The photo below was taken on the way home from the WBCCI International Rally in Bozeman, MT:



One of my most memorable experiences with this combination was driving through Yellowstone National Park with the top down on the Cadillac:



In the outfitting of the Eldorado for the trip to Montana, I had its original steel wheels restored and powder coated and had to trave without the spinner center caps and beauty rings that I had ordered that didn't arrive for several weeks after my departure on the trip.



In the photo above, I was preparing to head out to the 2005 WBCCI International Rally in Springfield, MO. I didn't make it very far . . . less than five miles . . . . the Boyd Coddington custom alloy wheels were just a little too wide for the wheel wells and the front tires would rub on the fenders whenever a bump was encountered . . . so it was back to the drawing board to find someone capable of restoring the out-of-true original steel wheels.


The photo above is of the Cadillac's first experience as a tow vehicle. Its day's charge was to bring the Overlander home from installation of new Zip Dee awnings at Ace Fogdall RV in Cedar Falls, IA (I lived in the Quad Cities so the trip was about 250 miles). The car actually surprised me as it hadnled the Overlander very well with one exception . . . the weight distribution bars weren't transferring enough weight forward and the car would have difficulty taking off from a stop on loose gravel or wet surfaces (a couple minor adjustments solved that problem).

My 2008 adventure included nearly 8,000 miles with the only mechanical difficulty being a failed alternator (poor quality remanufactured alternator installed within a few days of my departure) at the end of the first 250 miles. The fuel mileage while towing the Minuet hit a low of 6.0 MPG and a high of 9.0 MPG during the trip with an overall average of 7.8 MPG. I wouldn't want to attempt a trailer much larger than the Minuet with any plans of mountain travel . . . on flat land the Overlander works out well. If the Eldorado's final drive could be changed as easily as on a rear wheel drive car, it would be a much better tow vehicle . . . the 2.70 final drive ratio is just not conducive to towing the Overlander in the mountains . . . the similar drivetrain in the GMC Motorhome had a final drive ration of 3.07 according to what I have read and that was one option under consideration at one point, but the cost just didn't make sense for the situation.

Kevin
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:30 PM   #14
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My trailer has pretty much stayed in the same spot for nearly 10 years now.
Except, I hook on to it and move it about 100' a couple of times a year to mow under/around it. I use my "other tractor" as the one has the mower on it.
It's a 1965 Ford 4000 3 cylinder diesel.
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